“Everything happens for a reason” is not just a phrase from Gabby Young’s song ‘Male Version Of Me’…it really is her way of life. Gabby’s first steps onto the road of being a full-time singer at the age of 22 were abruptly halted by the news that she had thyroid cancer, yet coming through the ordeal with her entrancing voice intact only solidified her decision to pursue her music. Fast forward to the last few years and Gabby was at another crossroads. The uphill struggle of making it as a DIY musician was finally taking it’s toll and Gabby was wondering about stepping off when her doctors called her with the news that the cancer had returned. It wasn’t until Gabby got the all clear last September that she had the clarity to know which road to take and as she said, after the operation which could have taken her voice for the second time in her life, ‘I HAVE to sing, this is no longer a choice for me… it IS me.”
It was also time for a change for her. Being the ringleader of the hugely popular 8 piece circus swing band, Gabby Young & Other Animals, no longer felt right. She wanted a new challenge and to venture out into new musical directions. With her now husband, Stephen Ellis (formerly of REVERE) by her side as co writer and producer, she decided to perform simply as Gabby Young with a new band behind her and plenty of new songs to get stuck into. Gabby has always been inspired by acts who crossed over into electronica such as Bjork, Imogen Heap and Portishead so this new direction didn’t feel like such a leap, more like a gentle swim to the other side of the pool. At the heart of all these acts are strong and emotionally open songs and this is where Gabby excels, where her bond with her audience is at its strongest, and it is this element which she takes forward into this new musical direction. “Here we go again with our hearts…” she playfully acknowledges in the first of her new single Through The Trees.
The song is an indication of Gabby’s newfound confidence in balancing the personal with the powerful, a combative anthem for anyone climbing similarly insurmountable challenges…”We’re circling this disease…starting to show that we won’t back down!” It has become an immediate live favourite among festival audiences this Summer, and paved the way for what is to come.
Armed with a live vocal processor and loop pedal, Gabby has found a place to let her vocals intertwine with the zithers, synths, pulsing bass and stuttering drums of the new songs. Her voice has always been the focus, but now she been given it free rein in this new environment to whisper, growl and howl to it’s heart content…and it really does.
Gabby’s style has also been through a big change – gone is the trademark huge red hair, now blue and sleek! In her enforced time away from music, Gabby has become an avid seamstress and a big part of the sewing community with her own popular sewing vlog and blog, Gabberdashery, so of course all her stage costumes are now handmade too. That definitely does not mean that she has dialled back on the theatrical, however, as her light up EL Wire costume for the hugely successful comeback gig at London’s Richmix displayed – Gabby is still ALL about putting on a show, musically AND visually.
It is this DIY approach to everything she does as well as her fan-engaging ethos which has allowed Gabby to fund all of her releases through crowdfunding sites. She raised an amazing £9,000 in just four weeks to help record her last album. Now on Patreon.com, Gabby is raising the money and maintaining the amazing community around her and her music to produce this new album, with a new musical direction and a new -up. She has been in constant contact with her supporters, lifting the curtain on the whole process of taking a song from an idea to a finished release and beyond.
Gabby Young is back, stronger than ever, with a European tour in Autumn 2017 and a rapidly filling diary going far into 2018, there really is no stopping her…Here we go again with our hearts…
Bjork, Imogen Heap, Kimbra, Portishead, Massive Attack, Chvrches, Kate Bush, Bat For Lashes, Sufjan Stevens, Feist